Mar 1: Johnston reports that both have cleared waivers. Either one can now be assigned to the minor leagues, though Lindbohm’s placement on waivers was simply to enter the NHL after playing overseas this season.
Feb 28: Two players have hit waivers today. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that Brendan Perlini of the Edmonton Oilers and Petteri Lindbohm of the Florida Panthers have both been waived and are available to the rest of the league. Chris Johnston of TSN reports that Lindbohm has signed through the end of this season, and PuckPedia reports that it is a one-year, one-way, $750K contract for the European free agent.
This is the second time that Perlini has hit waivers this season, after he cleared in December. The 12th-overall pick from 2014 has been his frustratingly inconsistent self again this season, showing flashes of brilliance too often followed by long stretches of invisibility. The 6’3″ forward has all the raw tools to be an impact power forward at the NHL level, but still has just four goals and five points in 23 games for the Oilers this season.
It’s not that the team needs Perlini to step into a top-six role, but it’s very clear that the Jay Woodcroft-led coaching staff doesn’t trust him to play regular minutes in any lineup spot. In the nine games since he took over behind the bench, Perlini has played just twice and has seen the ice for a total (not average) of 11 minutes and one second. In yesterday’s loss to Carolina, he was given just nine shifts even in a game when they had just 11 forwards dressed and logged the lowest ice time of any forward on the Oilers.
With a $750K cap hit on a one-year deal, perhaps someone else will take a chance and try to coax out the player that scored 17 goals and 30 points in 2017-18, or even the one who had 12 goals in 46 games down the stretch for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018-19. But more likely Perlini is headed back to the minor leagues, where he has played two games for the Bakersfield Condors this season.
In Lindbohm’s case, it’s a very different story. The 28-year-old defenseman must have signed a contract with the Panthers after his KHL season came to an end with Jokerit pulling out of the postseason this weekend. The former St. Louis Blues player hasn’t seen NHL action since 2016-17, and has spent the last four seasons playing overseas.
A big, mobile defenseman, Lindbohm just won gold at the Olympics with Finland and has been a strong contributor at both the Swiss and KHL levels over the last few years. He has just 40 games of NHL experience, but would provide Florida with another depth option as they trek toward the playoffs.